TL;DR – n 55!w !
On 1 July 2007, the smoking ban in Singapore was extended to entertainment nightspots, including pubs, bars, lounges, dance clubs, and night clubs. The owners of these premises are hence legally responsible for the non-smoking of the customers. The law allows for the construction of designated smoking rooms which can take up to 10% of the total indoor space, or outdoor smoking areas that do not exceed 20% of the outdoor refreshment area.
Similarly in 2007, the Hong Kong government banned smoking in all indoor areas, causing smokers from neighbouring office buildings to gather at thrash bins during their cigarette breaks.
Love Off the Cuff is the third instalment of this 3-part romantic comedy, following Love in a Puff and Love in the Buff. The love story between Jimmy (played by Shawn Yue) and Cherie (Miriam Yeung) began in Hong Kong in 2009 during the smoking ban where regulars who visited designated smoking points started making small talk and eventually becoming friends, bonding over dirty jokes like friends at a hotpot dinner. This community of smokers-turned-friends eventually became known as the “Hot Pot Pack”.
If you are a fan of the series and are planning to catch the upcoming Love Off the Cuff, here are nine fun facts that you should not miss. If you are new to the movie, don’t worry, read this, catch the movie and you’ll find yourself laughing as much as the person next to you.
*Slight Spoilers Alert
1. Horror Story Opening
A horror story so good that it could probably be made into a movie itself. This has always been how the movie starts since the first film and it is no surprise that they did it again – with a different plot. Trust me, it IS scary. So much so that my companion kept insisting that we were in the wrong cinema catching a wrong movie.
2. Yes, they will breakup AGAIN
Call me a sucker for drama but this is one of the many reasons why I am a fan of this series. No love story is truly complete without it being several trials and tests, and in Jimmy and Cherie’s case, they will be tested for the third time. I like how their love story is written in such a way that they always somehow end up leaving each other for different reasons – much like most couples in real life. It is a pretty accurate representation of how in life, love isn’t always enough because, life. Unlike our dear Mediacorp where the only thing that comes in between a good relationship is always because the husband’s having an affair.
Jimmy and Cherie are big fans of conspiracy theories. They love to share their daily observations and discuss the possibility of how everyday things can be something bigger like a crime scene out of CSI, vice cartels in action and of course, UFOs. Without divulging too much, let’s just say extraterrestrial activities will still be a thing in this new movie.
4. KTV Scenes
The place where they first met might be at the smoking area, but the KTV lounge is where things happened for this couple. It is probably also because it’s one of the biggest social activities for most people living in Hong Kong as well as Taiwan and Singapore during the mid 2000s. The KTV industry might not be as big these days but I like how the movie maintained this past-time to show the consistency in their lives. It’s almost like a reflection of most youths or young adults these days who refuse to move on and how we just keep hanging on to our past.
5. That Classic KTV Song
We have to agree that every show needs a good original soundtrack but what this series has given us is more than just that because of KTV. The series has singlehandedly revived some old songs from the 80s into popular KTV tunes of today. For the uninitiated, it was 最後的玫瑰 in part 1, and 別問我是誰 in part 2. This time round, they revived another 80s classic, 陳百強 – 當我想起你. Will history repeat itself? Will everyone start searching for this song and singing it during their next KTV Session? I don’t know about you but I know I will.
6. Cryptic messages
The movie emphasises a lot about how the downfall of the relationship was due to Jimmy behaving like a kid and not giving Cherie the sense of security she needs but ironically, that was also the same reason why she fell for him in the first place. (Women…) In Love in a Puff, Jimmy got Cherie (and the audience) to try and figure out what n 55!w ! means and in this new Love Off the Cuff movie, there will be another such message for you to decipher. Don’t forget to wait till the post-credits scene for the big reveal.
7. They did not smoke at all in the whole show
This relationship might have started literally because of a puff but the couple has since stopped smoking because of Cherie’s asthma. Although Jimmy has always be portrayed to be an irresponsible man-child, he has never once broken this promise to quit even after they broke up. It was a promise that Jimmy made to help Cherie quit smoking together. Also, the couple did not smoke at all throughout the entire show despite being social settings where all of their friends were smoking. To me, this reflects their commitment to the relationship that might go unnoticed.
8. It’s all about the boobs
It might be very confusing for many as to why the promo items for the movies are usually cakes shaped like boobs.
Reason #1: The return of the legendary birthday cake
It was quite a novelty in the early 2000s to have such birthday cakes and this cake was featured in the first movie and will make a return in the latest as well.
Reason #2 – It reflects the very poetic way of saying “Sometimes what you’re looking for comes when you’re not looking at all” in the show in Cantonese. It was a very short quote from the first movie which I won’t say more as it’s slightly offensive.
For the unaware, this show is actually a Category III film in Hong Kong due to the sexual reference and vulgarities.
In 1999, popular rock band Mayday from Taiwan released a Hokkien song that was totally unrelated to the movie with the same title. How did that happen? Apparently Jimmy and Cherie’s Chinese names are basically the Hong Kong equivalent of “Tom, Dick, and Harry” or “John Doe”. In the Singaporean context, it would be Xiao Ming, Bala and Ali.
Fast forward to 2017, the producers has decided to marry this song and movie. Not only did they use this song as their OST, but there will also be a version of the song performed by Jimmy himself that you will probably never ever forget. You must look out for the various Easter eggs peppered throughout.
In all, this is an easy-to-watch, simple, heartwarming film that doesn’t have the fanfare and death-defying stunts of Hollywood movies… and that’s precisely why it works. It’s relatable, personal and makes you laugh and shed a tear or two while thinking about what could happen with your own life. We also recommend you catch the movie even if you haven’t caught the first two, mainly because we’re pretty sure you’ll end up going back to watch them anyway.
Love Off the Cuff opens in cinemas on 4 May.